The Muslim Public Service Network (MPSN) inspires, educates and trains exceptional American Muslims in public service and civic engagement in order to meaningfully contribute to community and country.
MSPN is modeled on the belief that American Muslims must play an active role in the policy-making process. Through civic engagement, American Muslims will be carrying out their social responsibilities, in addition to providing a critical and often unheard voice.
MPSN represents the unique diversity of the American Muslim community. Our Summer Fellowship Program provides the American Muslim community its best opportunity to meaningfully contribute to our society, while defusing the tide of misunderstanding.
- To enhance the leadership skills of participants, and facilitating their professional development through coursework and internships;
- To educate participants about public service and civic engagement, and its connection to Islamic philosophies;
- To develop an active and diverse network of community leaders rooted in cooperation, knowledge, ethics and commitment to public service;
- To uphold and promote diversity within the American Muslim community - including ethnic background, gender, socioeconomic status, school of thought and political perspective;
- To inspire American Muslims to leadership in public service.
The MPSN Summer Fellowship Program involves more than the internship experience; it comprehensively combines practical and intellectual training, in addition to community-building activities.
Each component of the program enhances the personal and professional development of participants, reinforcing an American Muslim identity based on knowledge, ethics, and service to society.
- Practical Training
- Intellectual Training
- Community Building
The practical training is provided by combining a summer internship with a series of presentations throughout the program in which practitioners from a range of public policy organizations provide valuable knowledge about the “ins and outs” of Washington, DC.
The intellectual training is led by a committed group of scholars who lecture on a range of topics relevant to Islam, public service, policy development and the political process as a whole. The courses provide an intellectual forum to explore short and long-term issues affecting Muslims in America, and an opportunity to identify unique solutions, while connecting such issues to historical and religious texts. The issues addressed during the program specifically include theories of tolerance; identity; human rights; and Muslims and American pluralism.
MPSN offers community building and networking opportunities for Muslim policymakers and activists. Given the disproportionately small number of Muslims engaged in policy-making, this program offers a unique opportunity to provide a common ground where American Muslims can exchange experiences and share lessons learned in the policy-making process, while also connecting on a personal level.
The Fellowship provides a forum for participants to give back to the local Washington D.C. community through regular public service opportunities. Biweekly service projects with a range of organizations from groups addressing local poverty to environmental groups provide participants hands-on experience with serving diverse communities.
The residential living component creates a strong bond among many of the participants that is carried forward long after the program ends. This is demonstrated by the number of alumni that continue to stay engaged with MPSN.
We are now again at a new and very important crossroads, where American Muslims must be poised to be more knowledgeable, organized, and informed to deal with both old problems that still persist, as well as new challenges that will inevitably emerge. We ask our fellow Muslims & Americans with a shared long-term vision to look at this program as they would any important long-term personal investment. We believe that this program, if sustained financially and professionally, would return its investment many times over through service to Muslims and America. We ask our fellow American Muslims to help create opportunities for talented Muslim youth to contribute to the fabric of American society and encourage American institutions to take advantage of the pool of resources Muslims have to offer.
Having established this country as home, American Muslims care deeply about the quality of life for all Americans, and are determined to do their part to enrich this society. What we lack, however, is the public service experience and knowledge that will help develop the enormous potential in our community, particularly among our young and energetic college-aged population. The founding of the Muslim Public Service Network and the corresponding Summer Fellowship Program was prefaced as the idea that Muslims must have a strategic role in public service in order to enhance both the American Muslim community and American society.